Potential Andretti target slams door shut despite ‘not a fun period’ admission

Jamie Woodhouse
Alpine A524 on track as sun sets during Bahrain testing.

Alpine A524 on track as sun sets.

Rumours that the Alpine team could be primed for a sale have been addressed by team boss Bruno Famin, as Andretti continue efforts to muscle their way onto the Formula 1 grid.

Renault’s works team Alpine went down a completely new route with the design of their F1 2024 challenger, the A524, but the results have been far from positive so far, with Alpine yet to score their first point of the campaign with four rounds gone.

Andretti to continue F1 push with Alpine off the market

With such struggles certainly not satisfactory for Renault, a report in Motorsport’s global and Spanish subsidiaries claimed that the automotive giant’s patience had run out and the team could be sold. Andretti would be a logical buyer, as they prepare for a “key meeting” with Formula One Management over the status of their rejected bid to join the grid.

However, Alpine told PlanetF1.com that suggestions the team is up for sale are completely wide of the mark.

“The rumours and stories about the team being for sale are false,” a team spokesperson said.

“The team is categorically not for sale.”

And team boss Famin has reiterated this stance that the team will not be sold.

“We have a real project with Alpine,” Famin told the Formula 1 website.

“We have the project to develop the Alpine brand awareness globally through motorsport and Formula 1 in particular.

“We have the full support of the top management. The team is absolutely not for sale. We will keep pushing to reach our goals.”

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With that in mind, Famin admits that Alpine are a long way short of their goal to win races, as he accepted this is “not a fun period” for the French outfit.

“It’s not a fun period,” Famin admitted. “We are not where we want to be in terms of performance, we are not doing the project to be P15 or P16.

“We want to be ahead, we want to develop the performance of the car – and we want to fight for podiums and for victories as soon as possible.

“Everybody [on the board] understands it is not an easy challenge. It’s a very difficult challenge – we owe a lot of respect to our competitors. To fight ahead, we have to raise the bar, raise our level, we need to improve.

“In the history our team, previously branded Renault – at the start of the project in the 1970s, everyone was laughing at us – and we were strong in those moments.

“We want to use those difficult moments now. We know everyone has ups and downs. We are in a down – but we will use the opportunity to be stronger very soon and for sure make the necessary changes within the team to reach our goals.”

Alpine has undergone major personnel changes in recent times, with team principal Otmar Szafnauer, sporting director Alan Permane and chief technical officer Pat Fry all leaving during the 2023 Belgian Grand Prix weekend, while CEO Laurent Rossi and Alpine Academy director Davide Brivio were also casualties of the continued overhaul.

More recently, technical director Matt Harman and aerodynamics chief Dirk de Beer have departed.

And Famin pins the team’s current woes on the previous management.

“The car we have now is the result of previous management,” Famin claimed.

“But what is important is what we are doing now. And I’m happy with what we are doing. Of course the way is very long, and we have a lot to improve.”

Both Alpine drivers Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly are out of contract as it stands come the end of F1 2024.

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